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Bi-Wiring speaker cables considerations

And there is the rub!
The two differing definitions of Active Speaker systems.
One is (yours) that any powered speaker is Active.
The other is that, it is active only if the crossover is active.
The notion of active vs passive, is determined by the crossover topology employed.
So a bi-amp ed, otherwise passive speaker is still a passive system.
I endorse the latter definition.

How could the latter definition possibly be correct? For instance, how could you possibly describe a single driver crossover less speaker with its's own inbuilt amplifier and only line level inputs as a passive loudspeaker?

Surely active simply means line level inputs and built in amplifiers, where and how the crossover is implemented isn't a defining characteristic of active speakers although, typically, an active speaker would have multiple drivers, inbuilt amplifiers and inbuilt, usually active, crossover.
 
How could the latter definition possibly be correct? For instance, how could you possibly describe a single driver crossover less speaker with its's own inbuilt amplifier and only line level inputs as a passive loudspeaker?
. . . . . it is active only if the crossover is active. If it does not employ an active crossover, then it is passive.
Surely active simply means line level inputs and built in amplifiers, where and how the crossover is implemented isn't a defining characteristic of active speakers although, typically, an active speaker would have multiple drivers, inbuilt amplifiers and inbuilt, usually active, crossover.
And stop calling me Shirley! :) (old movie joke)
If you go back long enough, to the 70s, when a few companies started releasing active speakers, the whole notion was Active circuitry vs passive circuitry in a speaker system.
Both needed amplifiers. The amps, wherever they resided (inside or outside), nor the number of them, defined the speakers.
There is only one circuitry common to all multi-driver speakers, and that was (is) the crossover. Passive crossover is used in passive speakers, active crossover in active systems.
Single driver speakers, do not employ an active crossover, hence they are passive. They could be electrostatic, requiring power to operate, yet are still classed as passive.
But this is a debated argument. Many manufacturers started calling their powered speakers, with a passive crossover inside, as Active! They were cashing in on the fame, and hence the simplified/loose misnoming confusion started.
Just because this usage is common, it does not make it right.
The location of the amplifier(s) does not define a mode of operation
 
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I am surprised and disappointed that Arcam would spread misinformation in their manual. I guess I will not be recommending Arcam products to anybody, ever again.
I will make it worst for you,that's from the latest Purifi :

Purifi.PNG

 
. . . . . it is active only if the crossover is active. If it does not employ an active crossover, then it is passive.
I once developed a multiway system that was multiamped with a line-input passive crossover before the amps. How would you categorize that?
 
I once developed a multiway system that was multiamped with a line-input passive crossover before the amps. How would you categorize that?
Tricky one!
By the definition I offered above, it should be classed as Passive, as it has no active components in the crossover.
However, it benefits from the other part of the Active vs Passive, that the amps are connected directly to the drivers and hence the amps have better control over the diaphragm.
But I stick to my guns, and call it Passive. That is if the crossover, could function with any pre-amp/poweramp combo and was truly passive.
 
I once developed a multiway system that was multiamped with a line-input passive crossover before the amps. How would you categorize that?
Pace Ken, but I would call that active, as the crossover was before the power amps, not after.
To me that is what distinguishes an active system from a passive. It doesn't matter (to me) whether the crossover is done in DSP, conventional op-amps/active transistors or using passive components only. The limitation of a passive only 'active' crossover is that it is more difficult to get steep curves without multiple sections, and making adjustments is even more difficult. However, for a 'Fit and Forget' system that doesn't need steep cutoffs, it would work.

S.
 
I once developed a multiway system that was multiamped with a line-input passive crossover before the amps. How would you categorize that?
Passive. But, assuming the amplifiers had a constant input impendance that predominantly was resistive, and the filters were properly designed, it should have sounded better than using passive crossovers in the speakers.
 
Pace? Ken, but I would call that active, as the crossover was before the power amps, not after.
To me that is what distinguishes an active system from a passive. It doesn't matter (to me) whether the crossover is done in DSP, conventional op-amps/active transistors or using passive components only. The limitation of a passive only 'active' crossover is that it is more difficult to get steep curves without multiple sections, and making adjustments is even more difficult. However, for a 'Fit and Forget' system that doesn't need steep cutoffs, it would work.
So the location of amplifiers is the deciding factor? Hmm location implies Active?
Passive. But, assuming the amplifiers had a constant input impendance that predominantly was resistive, and the filters were properly designed, it should have sounded better than using passive crossovers in the speakers.
And so the debate lives on, .... & on ... & on
 
Surely active simply means line level inputs and built in amplifier.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to simply call this a "powered" speaker.
 
So the location of amplifiers is the deciding factor? Hmm location implies Active?
No. That is incorrect. A passive filter is a passive filter, regardless of where it is placed in the circuit.

And so the debate lives on, .... & on ... & on
Perhaps among those who have never designed inductors, never investigated passive filter power losses (especially steel core inductors), nor properly investigated crossover impact on damping factor.

I spent many years designing passive filters and filter components as an occupation (BSEE), mostly for RF, but also for audio in my earlier years. I know enough to properly implement passive filters, but I also know the advances in DSP and how cost competitive it has become. With that knowledge, and after the experience of converting my own speakers from passive to active, I no longer want passive filters in my speakers.
 
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Perhaps among those who have never designed inductors, never investigated passive filter power losses (especially steel core inductors), nor properly investigated crossover impact on damping factor.

I spent many years designing passive filters and filter components as a occupation (BSEE), mostly for RF, but also for audio in my earlier years. I know enough to properly implement passive filters, but I also know that with the advances in DSP and how cost competitive it has become, I no longer want passive filters in my speakers.
Well I am sure Kal has some design experiences! ;)
 
Well I am sure Kal has some design experiences! ;)
I'm always up for discussing the design of inductors, capacitors, and the passive filters in which they are implemented. At one point I did a very deep dive into measuring laminated steel core inductor power losses, and deriving equations to compute both the hysteresis and eddy current power losses. Hint: inductor core power losses increase exponentially both with respect to magnetizing force and with respect to frequency.
 
I will make it worst for you,that's from the latest Purifi :

View attachment 374926
I mean, it's a fair point, it takes effort to bring output impedance down, so even if the effort wouldn't be audible to the user (I use 10ohm output impedance with BA IEMs, sue me) the designers would tell you not to bottleneck their product.

The relevant measurement would be IMD and we never see anything from those anyway.
 
+1

Bi-wirable speakers usually have split Xovers, so you could connect say, a meaty bridged-amp for Bass driver and say a standard lower power, say a class A, for the tweeter.

"Wire gauge" is so American! ;)
But yes, I have used solid-core house wiring loom for donkeys years.
My mother is Austrian and learned the "Kings English" when she was 17 in London. It turned out to be less than useless in Charleston, South Carolina. I was concieved in Charleston but born in Salzburg and have been to South Hampton & London.
I have also been in 60 countries but have only done wiring in the USA. I know drill gauges, wire gauges, shot gun gauges and gauges that indicate measurements.
So I am curious: "How, exactly, do you gauge (translation for non-American readers: measure) wire diameter?"
 
Not this old debate about "active" vs "passive" again! I think we need to come up with new terminology. I propose: ACS and CMAS. For Amplifier-Crossover-Speaker and Crossover-Multi-Amplifier-Speaker. Configurations such as biamp can be BACS (Bi-Amplifier-Crossover-Speaker). We could even subclassify the crossover type with DSP CMAS and Analog CMAS.

What is relevant is the position of the crossover in the signal chain, not whether the crossover is powered, or the speaker is powered, and so on.
 
What is relevant is the position of the crossover in the signal chain, not whether the crossover is powered, or the speaker is powered, and so on.
And so the debate goes on and on . . .
Before the explosion of Powered speakers, there was no debate, we all knew what Active speaker topology meant. After that, there was confusion! we even had fully active speaker systems, as opposed to what? Partially active? :facepalm:
Tell me, why did they name it Active or Passive, if all that mattered, was the position of the amp or the crossover in the chain?
Needless to say, I disagree with the notion of placement.
 
What is relevant is the position of the crossover in the signal chain, not whether the crossover is powered, or the speaker is powered, and so on.
That was not the case when I studied electrical engineering, including a course on active and passive analog filter design. Nor was it the case when I designed passive RF filters, some of which were used in electronic control and signalling systems.

However, if the IEEE or AES has adopted another meaning that, for audio, differs from the traditional electrical engineering meaning of the terms passive and active, then I defer to that meaning. I am not aware of any such meaning proposed by IEEE or AES, but I have not been a member of IEEE for many years and I never have been a member of AES.
 
Tricky one!
By the definition I offered above, it should be classed as Passive, as it has no active components in the crossover.
Pace Ken, but I would call that active, as the crossover was before the power amps, not after.
Exactly. :) Now, I am thinking about implementing the crossover in each of the amps...................... (not really)
 
To me a crossover can be active or passive, line level or speaker level, though I've never seen an "active" speaker-level crossover. Someone (no idea who at this point) defined that as having the crossover built into the power amps for each driver, but to me that was still a line-level crossover, followed by a power amp -- just in one box. I have used passive (RLC) and active (opamp/transistor/tube+RLC) line-level crossovers.

My definition of bi-amping was completely messed up when they added "passive" bi-amping to AVRs, meaning no crossover (active or passive) before the power amplifiers, relying instead on the (passive) crossover inside the speakers. Running the power amps with a full-range frequency signal always seemed a waste to me. To me, passive bi-amping always meant a passive rather than active line-level crossover.
 
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